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Early Queen-Rearing Round Unsuccessful

The cold conditions in recent weeks have been hindering our queen-raising. The conditions are not good for getting grafts accepted, or queens mated. We did attempt an early grafting round on Sunday 25 April, grafting from a known well-tempered colonies with a history of local open-mating. We tried the Ben Harden method, unfortunately without success on this round. We'll try again, with Cloake board method too, as soon as temperatures get to 15ºC.


This will delay our nuc programme, since we need 12 days to raise a virgin queen, 3ish weeks to get her mated and laying if the weather doesn't impede her from flying, and another week or 2 before these frames have sealed brood. We will raise some colonies from saved swarm cells.


Grafting in progress:

Grafts going in to hive set up for the Ben Harden method:



No queen cells a few days later — just brace comb. There are various possible explanations, such as larvae getting chilled in transit, or not enough nectar being brought into the hive.